One of the prime accused in the Bengaluru riots, Congress leader and former Mayor Sampath Raj is believed to be absconding. Raj was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a hospital in Bengaluru, but the hospital discharged him after his treatment was over without informing the police. He is untraceable now and it is believed that he must have gone into hiding, confirmed police.
Police learnt about the discharge of Raj when Assistant Commissioner of Police Venugopal visited the hospital on Thursday. “Yes, he is absconding. We are looking for him,” Venugopal told media confirming the development. According to police, a notice was issued to the hospital authorities by police on October 7 asking them to inform police before discharging Raj. However, the hospital discharged Sampath Raj without informing the police. Following the incident, another notice had been issued to the hospital authorities. The Hospital has been asked to reply why they discharged the accused without informing police after they were instructed to do so.
In the meanwhile, the police have launched a manhunt to nab the absconding Congress leader.
Charge sheet filed in Bengaluru riots case says Sampath Raj joined hands with Islamist organisation SDPI to create unrest in the city
Raj is believed to be one of the conspirators in instigating the Bengaluru riots in August this year. The charge-sheet filed by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in connection with the Bengaluru riots case stated that the Congress leader Sampath Raj had joined hands with radical Islamic organisation such as SDPI to target his own party’s Dalit MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.
In the 850-page charge sheet, the CCB has named 52 people as accused. There are statements of more than 30 eyewitnesses. The investigating agency has named former Mayor Sampath Raj and Zakir Hussain of the Congress Party as accused number 51 and 52, respectively.
Furthermore, the charge-sheet filed by the Bengaluru CCB said that members of the Muslim community were already upset over the issues of the Citizenship Amendment Act, triple talaq, NRC and Ram Mandir and the Congress leaders used this resentment to fuel unrest in DJ Halli and KG Halli areas on August 11 and settle political rivalry against their own party MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy.
As per the reports, the personal assistant of Sampath Raj, Arun Kumar, was arrested by CCB. The investigation agency found out that he made over ten calls to SDPI leader Muzammil Pasha and others. Pasha and several others are among the accused in the riots case. As per the CCB investigation, SDPI and Congress leaders were behind the riots. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also filed two FIRs in the case under IPC, UAPA, and Karnataka Prevention of Destruction and Loss of Property Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property A
The background of Bengaluru riots
On 11th August 2020, at around 8:30 PM, a riot-like situation took place between the DJ Halli and KJ Halli police station limits in the east Bengaluru. As per the reports, more than 1000 people gathered outside the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, demanding immediate action against his relative Naveen, who allegedly posted objectionable content against Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. The situation came under control on 12th August around 1 AM. Three people were killed, and more than 60 police personnel were injured. More than 300 vehicles were damaged in the riots.
The investigation agencies have arrested more than 340 people for arson, stone-pelting and attacking police. Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, while talking to media, said that his house was set on fire. On 17th August, CM BS Yediyurappa said the state government would recover the cost of damage to public and private property from the culprits.